Last year, China became the world's largest market for electric vehicles (EVs). Among EV brands, Toyota ranked first, followed by Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group.
In 2018, worldwide sales of EVs, including hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), battery electric vehicles (BEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), climbed 28.4 percent on year to 4.29 million units, an all time high, according to a report released by the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association on Oct. 16. Last year, EVs accounted for 4.5 percent of total global auto sales.
By country, China beat Japan with 1.22 million units (260,000 units of HEVs and 960,000 units of EVs), up 61.6 percent on year, on the back of the Chinese government’s support for new energy-based vehicles, including subsidies for EVs.
Japan picked up the second spot with 1.16 million units (1.11 million HEVs and 50,000 EVs), up 0.3 percent from a year earlier on account of a slowdown in the growth of hybrid car sales. Europe came in third with 990,000 cars (610,000 HEVs and 380,000 EVs), up 33.0 percent from a year before due to an increase in the launch of new green car models by automakers.
By car brands, Toyota remained the world's No. 1 player in electric car sales. It sold 1.68 million units (1.63 million HEVs and 50,000 EVs), an increase of 8.6 percent compared to 2018. Hyundai and Kia stood second with 280,000 units (160,000 HEVs and 120,000 EVs), up 23.8 percent. Its hybrid car sales dropped 13.9 percent but its EV sales soared 217.4 percent with new models launched.